January 18, 2013
The Wrath of the Klan
White robes, masks, and conical hats are the definitive appearance of the Ku Klux Klan. Formed post-Civil War, the Klan has stricken fear into many individuals, being America’s first true terrorist group. Today, it is still a prominent organization that is trying to be stopped. The KKK is arguably the most infamous organization of all time because of their hate of non-white/Christian people. The Ku Klux Klan originated in 1865. It was created by six Confederate Army veterans in Pulaski, Tennessee to oppose Reconstruction policies and maintain “white supremacy” by scaring African Americans (“The First Ku Klux Klan”). The Klan quickly spread into most southern states and started its reign of terror on blacks, Republicans, scalawags (white Southerners who interacted with Northerners), and carpetbaggers (Northerners that moved to the South) (“The First Ku Klux Klan”). Common acts used by the Klan during that time were lynchings, whippings, rapes, and tar-and-featherings (“Ku Klux Klan”). The Klan had a meeting in 1867 to attempt organize itself; General Nathan Bedford became the Grand Wizard in the process (“The First Ku Klux Klan”). Despite this meeting, the Dens continued to operate independently and became more and more reckless (“The First Ku Klux Klan”). Forrest ordered for the Klan to be disbanded in 1869, saying that the Klan was "being perverted from its original honorable and patriotic purposes, becoming injurious instead of subservient to the public peace." (“Creation of First Klan”). The first Klan officially ended in 1871, as the government would pass a Force Act to make most of their intimidation tactics federal offenses, thus hindering their actions (“First KKK”). The Klan would remain inactive for the next few decades. Indeed, in about four decades, the Klan would rise again. The second Klan was founded in 1915 by William J. Simmons (“The Second Ku Klux Klan”). Compared...